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Digidesign: Future Here or End is Near?? October 28, 2009

Posted by ConnorSmith in : Digidesign, Digital Audio Workstations, Pro Tools , trackback

Anyone on an emailing list from an audio retailer knows that Digidesign is slashing prices on both new HD systems and trade-ins.

Here’s a page from Sweetwater offering the trade-ins


Unfortunately I must have deleted my original email from Sweetwater, but I remember a 002R/003R trade-in (for an HD2 system with free 192 i/0) came in around $6k…  That’s an astonishingly low price.  To my knowledge, a company offers ridiculously low prices on their flagship product when one of two things in happening:  either they are about to release a new product, or their company is about to fold.

Honestly, I really don’t think that Digidesign as a corporation is in trouble at all.  However, they did create quite a buzz at this years AES (Audio Engineer’s Society) convention in New York City.  How? By not being there. Digidesign did release statements long before AES stating that they weren’t coming but that it wasn’t because of financial reasons.  Unfortunately that didn’t instill a lot of confidence in attendees.  In my experience, most of the chit-chat going on at AES was all about “Why isn’t Digidesign here?!”.

(This is all speculation, but) What is much more likely is that Digidesign is getting ready to release a new flagship system.  Current Pro Tools HD systems are powerful professional solutions, but they are also almost a 10-year-old technology.  Since Pro Tools HD’s initial release, the Native market (that is – powered by your host computer’s processor) has grown exponentially.  While this doesn’t negate the need for processing cards, it does force Digidesign to step it up in the Native market share.

We’ve had a bit of foreshadowing over the last year, with the release of the Complete Production Toolkit and the revitalized version 8.0 software.  I want Digidesign to release a Native system that is capable of 24 i/o with the track and bus counts of the Complete Production Toolkit.  That will attract a large number of project and home studio owners (including myself) to make the jump to a bigger Digidesign system without plunging into the often-near $10,000 (or more) Pro Tools HD pool.


The Studio Files


1. Mr. Mister, Esquire - October 28, 2009

They’ve got to come up with something. There are lot of people, like me, who are long time PT users who are jumping ship for Logic 9.

2. ConnorSmith - October 28, 2009

I agree –

I think Digidesign got a bit of a wake up call when Logic Studio 8 came out. Apple just took over from eMagic, and not only did they greatly expand the feature set of the software, they cut the price in half…. (to $500).

The native market is huge right now. I definitely think there will always be a place (at least in the foreseeable future) for processing cards of sorts (aka the TDM format), especially for i/o routing. Digidesign needs to expand a bit in the native area in order to stay as competitive over the next 4-6 years.

3. lee Arthur - November 29, 2009

yep I think that right on the money. i have been gearing up to leave my roland 2400 DAW for a computer based system and i have started buying the hardware for the apogee symphony system. Sure I’ll have a pt le system for mixing and for file sharing. But i am going logic9/macpro/apogee Rosetta 800 with a u87 and UA 6176 preamp..yep my front end is TTTTTTTTIGHT

4. ConnorSmith - November 30, 2009


Sounds like a great setup! Keep us posted on the progress and feel free to send us over pics of your setup.

5. CJS - January 22, 2010

As far as I’m concerned Avid can [“****”!] I had a PT HD System that I sold recently and lost my a** on! I was a fool and upgraded to PT 8.0.3 and my system would continuously [***] the bed…. You cant give this s[tuff] away anymore. I bought a new Imac and Logic Pro 9 and it runs better and faster than my HD system ever ran for literally half the cost. I run waves SSL and CLA bundles in realtime just as I had in PT HD with absolutely no hangups and no visible latency. I would also add that the conversion using Apogee UV 22 to bounce is FAAAAARRRRRR superior to the PT bounce algorithm…. The bottom line is that Avid support has gone to [the dogs] because they fired all of the talent. I had been using PT for 7+ years and LOVED it up to about a year ago with the release of PT 8. In my opinion they rushed the release because they are trying to compete. The fact is that the industry leaders are rapidly becoming industry followers. I am now a logic user with very few complaints, I will say that it takes a while to get use to it but it is so intuitive once you cross over. Digi and Pro Tools needs to be taken away from Avid because they are destroying what use to be a good company!!!!!!

[Ed: Appreciate the post, but let’s keep it “family style”– Thanks! DS]

6. G. Espinoza - March 27, 2010

I agree with CJS’s comment regarding the degradation, or at least the apparent apathy of Digidesign. I have been using Protools since it’s infancy and have been spending lots of dough trying to catch up with hardware upgrades and chassis/card configuration changes. I would jump ship right now (to the LOGIC BOAT) if it weren’t for the fact that most of the Post Production houses (where I work) in Los Angeles still use Protools. It has been way too long since hardware has been issued that is worthy of today’s standards. Sure, they’ve gone into consoles and software, but how old is the PCI card and the rack mount I/O’s? How about a mid-range solution that is in-between the Digi 003 and HD TDM?

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